Klay Woodworth / WMUK-FM

Rebecca Thiele Leaves WMUK

Early in 2012, a promising young journalist joined WMUK's local news team pretty much straight out of college. In the six years since then, Rebecca Thiele has become the producer and host of Arts & More , our weekly look at arts and culture in southwest Michigan, and WMUK's "beat" reporter covering the environment, science, and technology. Sadly, we must now bid her farewell.

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Gregor Hohenberg

Leif Ove Andsnes Returns To Gilmore Fest With Sibelius, Beethoven & More

It has been twenty years since Leif Ove Andsnes received the 1998 Gilmore Artist Award, which is given to unusually gifted pianists with the potential to make an original impact on music. In the years since, Andsnes has found new wells of creativity through collaborations with singers, instrumentalists, and orchestras, and through his own solo playing. On Monday, April 30 the Gilmore International Keyboard Festival will present Andsnes in recital at Chenery Auditorium at 8 pm. In a conversation recorded by phone from his home in Norway, Andsnes talks about his recent projects, which include a new recording of music by Jean Sibelius, whose solo piano works have been long overlooked. He touches on fatherhood, as well as the variety of pieces on his program: Carl Nielsen's Chaconne, Beethoven's Sonata Op. 31 No. 2 "Tempest," Idyll and Abyss by Jörg Widmann, and selected works of Schubert.

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Aaron Cooper

Kalamazoo Book Arts Center director Jeff Abshear has spent part of the past decade teaching book arts in Venice to Italian children, but this summer’s trip with was the first time he taught Americans there. Eleven students from the Frostic School of Art and Lee Honors College at Western Michigan University went with Abshear to Venice this summer to study book arts. They attended a printmaking school and studied at a letterpress museum.

One thing you can count on each year with the Toronto International Film Festival: It will be a treasure trove of cinema from around the world. Approximately 300 movies from all corners of the globe are screened each September over the course of a week and a half, including everything from this year’s big Oscar hopefuls to documentaries to comedies that show the lighter side of life in North Korea. 

You might have spotted billboards around Southwest Michigan advertising something a little different—local art. On Friday night from 5:30 to 7:30, you can meet the ten artists who won this year’s Billboard Art Contest at the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts. Their work will be on display at the KIA. One of the artists is Paul Marquardt who works out of his home studio.

So you think you know bellydance?

Sep 18, 2012
Joette Sawall teaching a class at West Michigan School of Middle Eastern Dance
Allison Friedman, WMUK

There’s only one studio that holds public belly dance classes in Grand Rapids, a city with a population of almost 190,000 people. Less than half as many people live in Kalamazoo, yet there are three belly dancing studios.

Kazoo Area Foot Chase lets you be a policeman for a day

Sep 14, 2012
2011 Kazoo Area Foot Chase
David Ostrem

On Saturday, runners and walkers can imagine they're policemen trying to capture a suspect. The Kazoo Area Foot Chase is being put on by MI-COPS or Michigan Concerns of Police Survivors.

“An introvert in a very loud and crazy world, ideally that’s what the sound of Shoegaze is to me," says Joshua Garman of the Crash City Saints. "It’s finding beauty, in kind of, the storm.” 

Steven Holmes

“My last name’s Pixley-Fink and a lot of people like to call me Pixie, Pixie Funk, the P-Funk,” says Elisabeth Pixley-Fink. “So it’s pretty funky and pretty playful I’d say.”

Sunday, the Southwest Michigan Harvest Fest will be held at Tillers International farm near Scotts, Michigan. Attendees can explore the rural and sustainable life through speakers, demonstrations, food, crafts and music.

Susan Blackwell Ramsey reading from one of her poems
Rebecca Thiele, WMUK

Susan Blackwell Ramsey will read from her book A Mind Like This Wednesday night at the Portage District Library. In her interview with WMUK’s Zinta Aistars, Ramsey talked about how her mind seems to remember only the most trivial things. This is the basis for her title poem “A Mind Like This.” 

The Albertine Monroe-Brown Gallery is two stories high. It’s airy with lots of windows, and you can see the art from several vantage points, which is one of the first things that excited and inspired Puerto Rican artist Nayda Collazo-Llorens. That, and the sheer size of the gallery, which allows for four distinct areas in her exhibition, including a small room, or tunnel that has both audio and visual art. 

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